At 3:37 P.M. on Monday afternoon, almost 16 hours after the transaction deadline for National League Tout Wars this week, the following Tweet came across my screen. The source was Los Angeles Times Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez.
Upon further investigation, I learned that the Dodgers were undertaking a more extensive housecleaning. Among the other moves was outfielder Jay Gibbons also being designated for assignment and the Dodgers optioning infielder Ivan DeJesus to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Why is this column-worthy, you ask?
It is a form of therapy for a tightly-strung fantasy writer whose most recent moves, while well-intended, went wrong.
When I sat down last Sunday night to enter my Tout Wars transactions for the week, I had planned to enter a speculative bid for Gordon, but the following helped lead me to second-guess and pass on the idea.
With Rafael Furcal injured, the Dodgers needed help in the middle. But Juan Uribe was almost back (he was activated on Monday, too) and the team already has Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles on the roster. When DeJesus was called up on Sunday, they appeared to be set.
Not so. DeJesus lasted a day before the organization changed its mind, adding Gordon to the 40-man and 25-man rosters.
Though Gordon was untaken in Tout this week, the price of poker will escalate out of my comfort zone. Instead of nabbing him for $1, which I could and should have done one week ago, his going price will likely be in the $15 range this week.
Heck. In fact, hitting is so scarce in Tout that this past waiver period, a Dodger reject from earlier this season, now-Pirate Xavier Paul drew bids from an amazing 10 of the 13 league owners. Four of the bids were in double digits, with the winner paying - you guessed it - $15.
I had owned Paul when he was with the Dodgers, but dropped him long ago. With only four-man reserve rosters in Tout, the spots are far too valuable to hold a marginal player like Paul.
At least, I hope he remains marginal and stumbles in his right-field audition with Pittsburgh.
This situation actually directly contributed to my Gordon mistake.
Instead of bidding on Gordon, I went with another hot-hitting Triple-A player, but one already on his organization’s 40-man roster. The Pirates’ Alex Presley is batting .338 with a .907 OPS. The outfield prospect has eight home runs and 32 RBI and is 13-of-15 in stolen base attempts with Indianapolis.
Of course, I grabbed Presley instead of Gordon, thinking the former would have received the shot in right that Paul was given instead.
On the bright (?) side, I will have an easily-droppable player this week in Gibbons, who was designated for assignment as noted above. I had gambled $6 on him on draft day. Bad mistake to pay for last year’s stats.
Who knows, maybe Furcal will be back soon and whoever pays big bucks for Gordon will not recoup their investment. Further, perhaps Presley will still get his chance and make the most of it.
Who am I kidding?
Even if that happens, my worries will simply move on to something else.
Brian Walton was the 2009 National League Tout Wars champion, scoring the most points in the league’s 13-year history. He is a 2009 NFBC league winner and finished in the top 25 nationally in both the NFBC and NFFC that season. His work can also be found daily at TheCardinalNation.com and thecardinalnationblog.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.